MxCx Interview#9 "THRASHER(PRSPCT)"
※ This interview was recorded on September 27, 2015 ※
Thrasher embodies the ‘fuck the system mentality’ with an unique view on music and the hardcore lifestyle in general, making him an important key figure in the scene. When you think Thrasher you think PRSPCT Recordings.
Besides running PRSPCT, Thrasher is also a demanded DJ, acknowledged for his crushing performances. It’s not a surprise that Thrasher has been playing at all the major Drum ‘n Bass events and festivals all over Europe and beyond that, for the last couple of years. Thrasher is capable of Thrashing everything, including your stamina, playing all the latest [PRSPCT] dubplates in his insane 3 to 4 deck Hardcore Drum & Bass sets every weekend all over the globe + fronting the The Hard Way in between of all of this.
Where are you from? Were you born and raised in Netherlands?
Im from Rotterdam. Born in the UK but have been living in Rotterdam for most of my life.
Tell us your musical roots. Since when did you start to have an interest in music?
You are the guitarist from The Hard Way. So, when did you start to play guitar? Please mention the names of guitarist and work which affect you.
I started playing in bands around the age of 14. Punk & Hardcore were my musical roots and the whole DIY mentality I learned from it is still the basis from what I do what I do and how I do it.
I toured a lot and recorded a bunch of records when I was young. after doing this for almost 10 years I felt I needed a new direction and started focussing on heavy electronic music. This was the start of PRSPCT and Thrasher.
The Hard Way for me deals really natural as its hardcore drum & Bass for me is the electronic music that comes closes to the energy I get from Punk & Hardcore.
When did you encounter Drum 'n' Bass and Hardcore(Gabba)? What was the start to interest yourself in dance music? What kind of music scene and record shop did you have in your hometown? For example, there are famous record shop named MID-TOWN etc. in Netherlands.
The 1st Drum & Bass (Jungle back then) I heard was Goldies timeless and it blew me away! I also used to really like the Rotterdam Hardcore Gabber records when I was 15/16. Back then these scenes were completely decided from the punk scene that I was in so it was not until much later (around when I was 21/22) that I really started to get in to these genres more deeply.
When I started buying Drum & bass & Hardcore records the shop I went to was Triple Vision in Rotterdam (this is also the distributor for PRSPCT) but I also bought hardcore records at Midtown of course.
Please tell us about your career. How did you build it up before Thrasher?
I heard you used to be in a band called "The Apers". So, tell us how you joined to this band.
I played in a lot of different bands from when I was 14. The Rotterdam Punkrock scene was really alive back then and so much energy for me as a young kid. From my 18th I also started to work for Rotterdams nr 1 music club Nighttown and a local record shop called Velvet.
Actually The Apers was one of the bands I was not really a member of haha. I played guitar for then on a 6 weeks tour in America and recorded a 7"single.
What became a trigger of your starting DJ as "Thrasher"? Did you already have the DJ style to mix Drum 'n' Bass and Hardcore at this time?
As I said I needed a new musical goal after playing in bands for 10 years. back then I was music booker for the nighttown club in Rotterdam. We had drum & bass nights in our club but for me the style was to soft and I had the idea it could be harder and darker. So.. Instead of complaining I just started PRSPCT. After organizing my 1st party I thought I might swell start DJing this kind of music just to show the DJ’s things could go harder and more XTRM. I bought turntables and after 3 months I played my first DJ gig as Thrasher.
I straight away wanted to be the hardest DJ in the drum & bass scene so I started mixing hardcore & drum & bass together from the start. fast and hard!
What led you to start "PRSPCT"? Why did you name it "PRSPCT"? What kind of concept did you have to start your party and label?
As for your first released work "DJ Hidden / Limewax – The Resonators / Pain" in 2005, tell us how this release was made.
I explained most of the reasons for starting the party in the previous question. I just wanted a Hard drum & bass event. And if you want something you got to do it yourself. Punk mentality!
After doing events for a few years starting a label only seemed logical. I had a good relationship with a lot of artists in the harder scene and triple vision offered me a good deal so I just started the label and never looked back.
Limewax & DJ hidden were both friends. (limewax was only 16 then) It was just easy to ask them for the 1st release.
I trust Limewax, with whom you play B2B often and also you work together as "The Hard Way" and "Limewax&Thrasher", is one of the essential artist for "PRSPCT". I guess you know each other for a long time. But when did you meet first? What do you think about this artist/DJ named Limewax from your point of view?
I met Limewax for the 1st time when he was only 14 sneaking in to PRSPCT parties even though he was to young to even be aloud to come in haha.
He started to give me CD's of his music. At 1st I was like; who is this little kid giving me demo CD's?? But when I finally to ok the time to check out the CD I was like; Damn!!! This kid is good!
For me Limewax is one of the most important producers in Hard Drum & Bass. Some of his early releases completely changed hard drum & bass for good. Hard drum & Bass would have not been the same now without his input.
As the label owner, how much do you direct each release from "PRSPCT"? What is the most important thing to release? Most of the visual images for Hardcore Drum 'n' Bass parties are in a Gothic style, but the ones for PRSPCT are sometimes Metal and at other times Science Fiction (a mechanical style of design) etc. and they are casual and friendly in a good way. Do you make it on purpose?
As label boss of PRSPCT I only want to release the best of the best. All the artists know this and I believe I do get the best tracks from the artists for PRSPCT. Quality control is high!
Tracks need to be great and rock hard as fuck!. Thats my criteria. :-)
As for the artwork.. I have always loved dark artwork. Its just influenced by my punk, Hardcore and metal roots. I like to provoke also. As PRSPCT is my label I get to just do whatever I want. And that makes it fun. ;-)
Who do you think originally established the recent Hardcore Drum 'n' Bass scene? I , personally, would say these artists and label described below made it. But what do you think?
: Technical Itch, The Panacea, Ed Rush, Evol Intent, The Enemy, Raiden, DJ Hidden, Ruff-Teck, Killing Sheep Records and Outbreak Records:
Another question. Which track (or artist) is the first one you defined as Hardcore Drum 'n' Bass?
For me old Technical Itch was the best of the best in amen drum & bass. Ed Rush was mega important when it comes to the dark techy kind of DnB. Panacea for his crazy rave style and so on and so on.. Al, of these artists have been important.
When it comes to Hardcore drum & Bass / crossbreed. DJ Hidden has been one of the most important artists in this genre on one side. Obn the other side The DJ producer & Hellfish have also been mega important for this. Its the combo of all these styles and producers that got us to where we are now with mix of drum & Bass, Hardcore and break core.
PRSPCT has released a lot of excellent tunes by Crossbreed. How is the reaction from the people in Drum 'n' Bass scene for this music(Crossbreed)? Nowadays, Hardcore and Drum 'n' Bass artists often release the music influenced by Crossbreed. Was there any reaction against Crossbreed in the early years? Or, was it good from the beginning? At the party and festival organized by PRSPCT, not only Drum 'n' Bass but also other genres of artists play. I wonder if the listeners of Drum 'n' Bass, like PRSPCT crew, Ed Rush, Black Sun Empire, Audio, also dance to the set from Hellfish, Akira, Bong-Ra and Munchi. How is it?
We have been pushing this mix of styles from the beginning like 14 years ago. Back then it was new and for a lot of people maybe to extreme even but in the years we created our own scene and its become really big. A lot of people even call this style PRSPCT.
What makes the PRSPCT parties so special is that the people go craze to all the different styles. One minite they will be going crazy at Ed Rush, the next moment the same people will be going crazy on Drokz & Akira. Thats PRSPCT!
PRSPCT often releases both digital and vinyl, right? But why do you keep releasing vinyl in this day and age? Is it because a lot of vinyl Djs exist in Netherlands and Europe?
I release almost everything on vinyl still because I love vinyl! For me selling only MP3's is like selling air. I love selling a buetifull real product and MP3's don't do that for me.
Its also a quality control thing for me. So many shit digital labels at the moment releasing shit because it does not cost any production costs anyway and they can't lose money anyway. So they are like; this is not really good but who cares. even if I only sell 1 digital copy its fine… Well thats whats wrong at the moment. For me a release has to be good enough thats its worth it for me to invest the money etc.
PRSPCT vinyl sells well because the music on it is good and the artwork looks awesome and the vinyl sounds great. And for me thats essentially what its about when running a label. releasing GOOD music.
What's the most important thing for you when you DJ, and also when you play B2B with Limewax, Eye-D, Ruffneck and Deathmachine? Is there any advice to the youth who want to be DJs in the future?
Play the music you love and you want the people to hear. Don't just play hits because people expect that. Give the people you play for a heavy dose of musical energy. Mix tight. Play hard and have fun doing what you do!
oyeah and try being the best at it that you can be. A good DJ can feel the room and has at least some good skills behind the decks. :-)
PRSPCT made Hardcore Drum 'n' Bass very popular, and also PRSPCT itself is essential in the music scene of Netherlands (also EU). How much of your wish has been already realized since you started PRSPCT?
To be honest. When I started PRSPCT I did not have a clue what I was doing and in a lot of ways I still don't have a clue what I am doing. I just follow my heart and do what I feel is right.
Importand thing: Don't imitate but innovate!
I live from music, don't have a boss, Im my own boss. I get to see the world and work with artists/friends I love and respect. Life could be much worse right
What is the future plan of you and PRSPCT?
keep bashing out great releases. More and more label nights all over the world bringing the PRSPCT power to the people. And have fun doing all these things. :-)
Interviewer : Ume (Murder Channel)